Wednesday, April 29, 2015

We all want to change the world

I've missed most of the election build up (Lucky you I hear you say) Since coming back from Australia I had some sort of virus that has had me in bed and on the couch longer than Homer Simpson so I've had ample time to bring myself up to speed on what has been happening and the conclusion I came to is: Not a lot.

For the first time in my life, no Socialist candidate is available to me to vote for and I face a choice. I'm not an SNP guy. I've never really felt a connection to them although I do like Nicola Sturgeon. I used to look for perfection in politicians and political parties, more fool me. I'd probably be 100% voting SNP though were it not for the Offensive Behaviour Act and so I took it upon myself to email my prospective candidate, Michelle Thomson, and ask her for her views on it. I tweeted that I had did it too and got responses along the lines of "Good luck getting a reply". So there I am three days later, on the couch, watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix and the door goes. It's Michelle. She introduces herself and refers to my email. Right away I'm thinking "Fair Play" for coming to the door. I wasn't just going give it up then though so I started asking her for her views and we batted back and forth, agreeing and disagreeing on several things. This is the first time she was running for election and I could sense that she wasn't really SNP, more old Labour in all honesty. She also didn't have a clue about football but was ballsy enough to stand there and take a lecture from me in my old man dressing gown.

My take on it was that she didn't really get the anger felt by so many on this act. I hope she does now.

Thing is a lot of my views are old Labour yet I've never voted Labour in my life. I've listened to many friends tell me why they were still Labour Party members and how they would one day change it back from within and I can understand them not wanting to give it up totally to the likes of Balls and Murphy. It should also never be forgotten what a beacon of hope the Labour Party gave the working class people when it formed and the two greatest achievements of any party in UK history remain the creation of the welfare state and NHS.

Yet it took a second world war to happen for people to demand them and the closest thing Britain ever had to a Socialist government (and they were voted out at the first time of asking)

The Green Party, perhaps, offer a fresh alternative. I know a lot of old Labour people in England have gone green and with the sort of other parties on offer there, who could blame them? I suspect too a lot of "anyone but the Tories" voting will go on in England as well.

Ah, the Tories. Five years of making the poor pay for the mistakes of the rich, food banks on the rise, horrific benefit cuts and the worst Chancellor ever. They appeal to the England of Katie Hopkins and Jeremy Clarkson with backing from Murdoch and all his tentacles and they wonder why so many despise them?


Which brings me on to UKIP. Just not with a steamroller unfortunately. I saw Farage being asked a question by a new member "What do I say when people accuse us of being racist?" I expect Farage has been asked this thousands of times and was keen to hear what I assumed would be a polished response honed over many years. Instead he brought his right hand to his mouth, paced up and down the room, looked at the floor and said "Hmm, you'd think with our European election results, people wouldn't ask that any more"

That to me was code for "I'm bloody famous, stop asking me awkward questions!"

Still, only a week to go and I probably won't make my mind up until the pen is in my and paper in front of me in the polling booth.
By the way, are the Lib Dems standing this time?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Anyone but Celtic 1.0

So the PR campaign over the last few weeks has been great, right? I often get tweets along the lines of me being some sort of master manipulator, a Frank Underwood type, who somehow is able to make things happen in Scottish society at the same time I am publicising a project about said same subject. Alas, there are no such dark arts going on just merely topics that are a certainty to keep delivering as regular as the postman.

Right now I am balls deep in a new book that looks at the culture in Scotland which breeds an 'Anyone but Celtic' mentality. Between story and narrative we will go inside an organisation which has a recruitment policy designed to ensure anyone but Celtic win football matches in Scotland.

A lot of anecdotes will be laced through the book to further emphasise the culture in Scotland that allows such a policy to not only go unchallenged but positively thrive.

This is, I guess, part two of The Asterisk Years in that the topic is cheating again. Unlike The Asterisk Years there will be no real autobiographical or comparsion element which will delight those who, if they ever did write a book, would never do that.

Again, all this book is down to a great source. I took a lot of flak for not revealing the source of The Asterisk Years, something that mystifies me as much as Chinese writing. Similarly, because I went to the former house and office of David Murray this infuriated the likes of Keith Jackson of the Daily Record for reasons that are as obvious as that handball last week. Well, sorry Keith, I've already been to the houses of the main protagonists in this one.

The hardest part of any project is the discipline. Day after day in front of the metaphorical pottery wheel shaping your creation the best you can, which is why I applaud anyone who manages to finish a book save for J.K Rowling. I'm about two thirds done with this book, primarily because I wrote a lot in Australia, something which quite a few thought I was only saying for show, if only...

Of course, this will be a film too and shooting starts a year from now, God willing.  A script is being written alongside the book and locations have already been scouted.

For now though, it's all about the book. There will be a launch in September and, for the first time ever, it won't be in Glasgow. Nor Edinburgh for that matter either.

Right now though, I'm off to ensure a sending off for nothing today...